“Hello, we are Nasum from Sweden,” announces frontman Mieszko Talarczyk. Niceties aside, the grindcore foursome proceeds to detonate an atom bomb on Osaka, where the twenty-six minute live massacre that is Doombringer was recorded. Hyperspeed blastbeats and guttural guitars meld into a barrage of E. Honda handslaps on “Corrosion” and “Fatal Search”; Nasum beat the shit out of the unstable grooves in “Inhale/Exhale” and “I Hate People.” They sound frighteningly potent.
Conventional wisdom would hold that it’s impossible to capture the ferocious energy of a great grindcore show on tape. Wrong again, conventional wisdom. You can hear the spittle and sweat and cracked heads on this one. For listeners who only know Nasum from their four albums for Relapse, it’ll come as a shock that Doombringer outdoes the savagery of the band’s studio recordings.
Of course, any Nasum fan’s reaction to Doombringer will be mixed with the sadness of knowing that we’ll never have a chance to see the band play live again. Less than a year after this concert was recorded and three days after his thirtieth birthday, Talarczyk was killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. Aside from a few terse song introductions, Doombringer offers frustratingly few glimpses into Talarczyk’s personality independent of his band.
But that’s as it should be, because it lets us remember Talarczyk doing what he did best, namely pulverizing an audience as part of the greatest grindcore band since Napalm Death. As such, Doombringer is an even better capper to Nasum’s discography than the archives-clearing Grind Finale compilation from 2005. The surviving members of the band have promised that Doombringer is the final Nasum release. What a way to go.